Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"Muscular Body Image Lures Boys Into Gym, and Obsession" Research Report

            Douglas Quenqua, author of “Muscular Body Image Lures Boys Into Gym, and Obsession”, is a freelance writer whose work often appears in The New York Times and The New York Post. His stories range from fashion to science and are usually written with a human-interest angle. Quenqua carries over this angle to his stories regarding personal health and wellness. Muscular Body exposes the change of attitudes teenage boys have toward the male body image, and the consequences of these new attitudes. Quenqua explores how the new ideal is to be “fat-free and chiseled” according to Dr. Harrison Pope of Harvard. This comes as a concern to many pediatricians, as boys who have not finished growing may end up stunting their growth through lifting, or worse, consume harmful steroids to bolster results.
            This article is no departure from Quenqua’s usual writings involving personal health. He has the tendency to target a specific demographic, whether it is teenage boys or corporate businessmen, and expose a problem that primarily affects that group. These articles usually appear in the “Health” section of The New York Times, and focus on the new alarming trend and the implications of that trend continuing.
            The subject Quenqua decides to use in his story exemplifies the concerns of pediatricians that Quenqua cites. David Abusheikh started lifting weights when he was 15 years old, an age where growing muscles are susceptible to being stunted. He uses supplements that concern medical professionals due to the lack of regulation. A quick search on Abusheikh’s Facebook page reveals multiple photos of him shirtless, showing his obsession with obtaining that “Charles Atlas” body. Quenqua uses Abusheikh to put a face to the problem he is presenting.
            “Muscular Body” coincides with a report released on the same day in the journal Pediatrics titled “Muscle-enhancingBehaviors Among Adolescent Girls and Boys.” The story uses the report for multiple facts, but Quenqua uses the report for more than just numbers. The report makes Quenqua’s story relevant, and provides a reason for Quenqua to write his article in the first place. The report supplements the story with facts like “more than 40 percent of boys in middle school and high school said they regularly exercised with the goal of increasing muscle mass,” legitimizing the problem Quenqua presents.
            While Quenqua’s article targets weight-lifting teenage boys and girls, his audience is much larger. This is evident by the response to the article, highlighted by a piece done on NBC’s The Today Show. The Today Show, with a daily audience of over one million, saw the importance of “Muscular Body” and ran a two minute and 45 second segment profiling Abusheikh with comments provided by Quenqua. The attention given to Quenqua’s report proves that the problems associated with teenage weightlifting are concerning to quite a large audience, namely parents of teenagers.
            The article itself should not be seen as controversial or provocative. The majority of the article is an exposure of the Pediatrics study. Quenqua sees the problems in the study as important, and uses his position in the media to relay these problems to the greater public.

Wounded but Not Slain Discussion Questions

1.     Is it fair to say that newspapers underestimated the effect that television would have on their business even though they owned a good portion of them? Why?
2.     At one point we talked about how newspapers got most of their income from the government instead of advertisers. Looking back, does it seem like switching to advertisers was a good choice? Why or why not?
3.     The title of the article is: “Wounded but Not Slain” looking at the present situation of the newspapers do you think they really are just wounded? Will newspapers make it into the next century or do you think online news sites and television will completely replace them? Explain.
4.     Have you ever seriously sat down and read an article in a newspaper? If you have was it more or less enjoyable than watching it on TV or reading online? If you haven’t, for what reasons do you think you haven’t?
5.     Do you think TV’s might be “replaced” by anything in the future like mobile devices? Why?

Discussion Questions 2/13 Muscular Body Image Article

 Discussion Questions and Ideas for Muscular Body Image Lures Boys Into Gym, and Obsession

The author’s main point in this article is to inform people of the dangers of presenting the falsified ideal male body to society.  Who is the intended audience for this article?  Is the two step flow or another method for presenting information displayed here?

Throughout the article, the author constantly cites boys and sometimes girls being obsessed or at least interested in going to the gym and working to gain muscle and looking tone.  He says this is because of how the media portrays the perfect body.  Can you think of any other examples of how the media or society has altered our perspectives on things that we might take for as the norm?

The author claims that this portrayal of the ripped body has caused some people to take drastic measures to get fit, such taking steroids and protein supplements.  Do you think that action should be taken to change this portrayal of the ideal body or are there are only a few people who are attempting this kind of lifestyle?  Is the media trying to make the story bigger than it actually is to gain readership?

If you take a look at the end of the article, there appears to be a lot of errors in the initial article.  Why do you think this was?  For example, were they passionate about the article and wanted to get it published or maybe grab people’s attention quickly in order to captivate them and not worry so much about the minor details?

Friday, February 8, 2013

Online Assignment #1

Name: Jonah Bastin
Hometown: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
I always like to take the time out of my day to visit the technology and science news section on Google. They are usually filled with stories about new ideas and concepts like Google's Project Glass or one of my recent favorites about a new type of chip that could replace the transistor AND save a huge amount of energy at the same time!
Well my favorite artist would have to be Adele. During swim warm-ups they would always play Adele's "Someone Like You" and our whole team would sing along...we all were completely tone deaf of course but that never really stopped us. :) I also like Bruno Mars, two songs that I absolutely love of his are "The Lazy Song"(especially on Friday!) and "When I Was Your Man". I just recently was listening to the album Tetra by C2C and actually really like it. (my favorite song being "Le Banquet")
Well since I played the tuba all four years of high school I am naturally going to show a tuba video:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Online Assignment #1

Name: Austin

Hometown: Chippewa Falls, WI

Article:This article talks about Portugal's success with decriminalization of drugs. It is interesting to me because it is a radically different approach at the problem that our country is facing now with marijuana legalization. We have taken the approach of a "war on drugs", with arguably little success, but Portugal used an opposite tactic and had great results.

Music: I listen to most types of music, with the exception being country. I hate country music. I like certain rap/hip hop like Machine Gun Kelly, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, and an Australian duo called Bliss n Eso. But, for studying and relaxing, I listen to The Weeknd and Frank Ocean a lot, along with some jazzier bands like the Alex Skolnick Trio.

Video: I chose this video because it combines two of my favorite things into one convenient package: Waka Flocka Flame and adorable little kids. I listen to Waka Flocka in the morning sometimes to wake me up, and it clearly works on this kid too.

Weird Sandy Hook video.


I'm not saying it is a conspiracy or anything, but if you watch the video with somewhat of an open mind it's actually pretty interesting.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Coda: The Advent of the Media- Research Paper

                Paul Starr, author of The Creation of the Media, has quite a large background in numerous forms of mass communication. Although he is currently a Stuart Professor of Communications and Public Affairs and a Professor of Sociology and Public Affairs at Princeton University, he still remains entitled as both the co-editor and co-founder of the prestigious American Prospect magazine. His background as a journalist expands extensively through various political magazines as well, for example the New Republic. Also, he has written a total of nine books, the most recent being Remedy & Reaction: The Peculiar Struggle over Health Care Reform.  If this merely doesn’t build up his credible repertoire, he has multiple other articulate articles and speeches on social trends, public policy, and politics. In these sections he thrives the most, which is no surprise as to why Basic Books published this particular book.
                The Creation of the Media was published in 2004. It received the 2005 Goldsmith Book Prize along with other astonishing acknowledgements. Therefore, this was the farthest thing from a mistake on the publisher’s part. Basic Book’s motto is to publish “serious nonfiction by intellectuals, scholars, and journalists”. With this being said, the publisher clarifies they are targeting a certain scholarly audience. With Starr’s background the audience becomes even more pin pointed to prior followers of those interested in his specified topics of interest, writing, media, and politics.
                Paul Starr’s academic book depicts the history of communication from the 1700’s-1940. This article can be interpreted by countless main points. Throughout the book he develops a theme of competition in media between production and politics. In chapter twelve, Coda, he touches base on how media is a not only a source of power, but wealth. Most of this was obtained by targeting consumers based upon politics. Once advertisements made an impact, papers became more independent. They no longer had to choose a political side for recognition because the papers depended on the income from advertisements in order to have more coverage opportunity. Therefore, they received more of an audience.  He also describes the positive and negative effects of limited regulations. He uses the above examples in order to describe the impact politics has on the media and visa versa.          
Basing his ideas off of politics, publication, and communication, he’s targeting a select group of readers interested in certain aspects of the media. He gives them crucial background knowledge within the field.  A continuous message appears within the entire chapter. His goal throughout is to inform his audience about how communication and politics are relative to one another, as well as their impacts.              
Publishers Weekly states that this is an overall great depiction of media’s history and its effects. The point was made clear. Starr and Basic Books combined their audiences to target a select group, which was beneficial for both of them. Overall, they strengthened each other’s academic reputation by complimenting one another with perfection. The chapter made us aware of the past and could be helpful knowledge for anyone in the field. 



Online Assignment #1

Online Assignment #1

Name: Jill Schumann

Hometown: Grosse Pointe, MI

Article: I was on Yahoo and I stumbled across this article. It is about a Arkansas couple who won the lottery twice in one weekend. I just thought it was amazing how so many people go through their whole lives without winning it once and this couple won it twice within 48 hours. Also, the fact that they are going to continue working and save some of it, makes me happy they were the ones that one it twice.

Music: For me, one of the hardest questions to answer is what kind of music I listen to. I listen pretty much every type of music from rap to country to alternative. Some of my favorite artists are Aerosmith, Ed Sheeran, and Train just to name a few.

Video: In honor of the Super Bowl being this past weekend, I decided to post my favorite Super Bowl commercial. One of the main reasons I love this commercial is because it focuses on my hometown in a positive way, which is very different than the typical press Detroit usually gets. All the shots remind me of home with the houses actually being from my suburb. Cars have been a huge part of my life from simply being from the Motor City to my parents working for car companies. Lastly, I love this commercial because it has one of my favorite people from Detroit, Eminem.

Online Assignment #1

Name: Megan
Hometown: Madison, WI

Article: This is a combination of a video and article that is so shocking to me. You always hear about how cruel some animals are treated before they are killed but it has continued to happen, and seems to be getting worse with time. I believe this article sheds an interesting viewpoint of what is needed to capture people's attention.

Music: Growing up I was a singer, so I came to appreciate all different types of music. Currently the music I have been loving is a weird combination. I have been obsessed with Thrift Show and Justin Bieber especially his new acoustic album I have been loving. Yes, I am a college student and secretly loving Justin Bieber, it happens. My other recent love is some One Direction, they remind me of when I was younger and there were lots of boy bands.

Video: I stumbled upon this video this morning and have watched it on repeat for most of the day. This video just makes you want to smile. Recently I have come down with some virus of something and have not wanted to get out of bed and watching this video makes me feel a little better and brightens my mood.

Assignment #1

Name: Danielle

Hometown: Appleton

Article: This article is really neat! It's about the Sports Illustrated Kids of the Year. It is a truly touching story about how Conner Long helps his younger brother, with hyper-tonic cerebral palsy, feel like any other seven year old boy. Together they fight for the gold in triathlons.

Music: I'm into various types of music and have quite the record collection as well. It ranges in genres with artist like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Hendrix, Frank Ocean, Joplin, Lumineers, Beatles, Adele, and much more. Basically, everything is good, in my eyes, except for country. Check out this 2012 mash-up.


Video: Here is a clip about the article above. It really makes you appreciate the small things in life. It teaches people to be grateful for what you have and for others. It's truly amazing what Conner and Caden have done as a team. It can be a bit of a tear jerker for some, but I believe that it can also be life changing! Spread the word to end the word!

Prepared Speech "Coda: The Advent of Media"

Rylee Drugan
Prepared Speech
Coda: The Advent of Media
Introduction:  “The arrival of something huge.”
Main points:
·         Effects throughout history
o   Source of wealth
§  Powerful/ profitable
o   Connected networks
§  Buying and selling
§  Strategic advantages
o   Spread of culture/ religion
o   Politics
§  Campaigning
o   Values/ beliefs
§  Manipulative
·         Different forms and different ways to influence
o   Print media
o   Movies (film)
·         “Manufactured Media”
o   Nonfactual opinions
o   “Sense of evidence” – Walter Lippman
My Claim:
·         Media is crucial
o   Shapes our lives positively
§  Exciting
o   Shapes our lives negatively
§  Dangerous
§  3rd Person Effect
·         Future?
o   More advancements/ what effects?

The Advent of the Media: Discussion Questions.

Coda: The Advent of the Media-- Week 3 Discussion Questions:

At the beginning of this chapter, author Paul Starr states how as communication processes became more efficient (as in with the radio) there became a "continual taste for novelty". Do you agree with this statement? If so, do you believe the quality of the information published deteriorated because of this? Why or why not?

Starr argues that modern media came about as a result of three key junctures: "The primacy of the nation-state, the emergence of liberal constitutionalism, and the expansion of the reading public and other cultural markets." While all three had major impacts on shaping the current structure of the media, which do you feel had the greatest impact?  Why?

Early in the text, Starr explains how the need for a profit (noting that profit comes from increased circulation resulting from popularity) occasionally overshadowed the need to tell the truth. This he shares, led to manipulation of the news. Later Starr shares an opposing view, reiterating Lazarsfeld's opinion that only people can change the opinions of other people. Do you think that the media can and regularly does manipulate their consumers, or do you believe that interpersonal relationships shape our opinions the most? Why?

Starr ends this chapter by sharing recent changes in the media including the focus now being on international media. He shares a quote from Archimedes and relates that to the media, explaining that a number of different moves on our parts now can lead to different futures for the industry. Where do you believe mass media is to head next and as a result of what actions?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Online Assignment #1

Name: Gabriel Kim

Hometown: New York, NY


I picked this article (from the BBC) simply because I was highly impressed with the efforts Google Maps and its community were able to come up with a more detailed map of North Korea. Despite a lack of geographical information on North Korea, due to censorship, Google was able to create a rather detailed map, though still rudimentary. For instance, the article notes that prominent landmarks such as prison labour camps, nuclear research sites and government buildings were added.

I typically listen to indie rock, though I am somewhat open to most genres/forms of music. Recently, I’ve been listening to Mac DeMarco and Tame Impala. I’ve developed a considerable liking towards these artists because their songs appear to have uncomplicated lyrics and simple, straightforward melodies. I tend to use/follow Pitchfork and Resident Advisor for new music.
The video below describes how one ‘correctly serves a watermelon.’ Though fairly ridiculous, I chose this video because when I was first introduced to it, I genuinely though it was trying to inform/teach me something new. (Though I did take note of the number of views, which was fairly high for such a mundane topic!) Thus, I found the video to be even funnier than it should really have had been. I do apologise for my sense of humour in advance.